Thursday, May 1, 2014

Elite Minds Book Review and Giveaway

Let’s face it. I’m protective of my time, as I am sure you are too. So, when I was asked to review the book, Elite Minds, I quickly went to Amazon to read the introductory pages to see if it floated my boat.

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I got sucked in from word one. If you read this blog, you know I don’t believe in excuses and rationalizations. I embrace discipline and commitment. Quite simply, I think people need to do what they say there are going to do without bitching and complaining (hence, the name of this blog). The first page of this book, entitled Disclaimer, states:
“Do not read this book if you are looking for a quick fix, motivation or just want to feel better. There is no such thing. Happy is for children. Being happy is not the purpose of your life. Being fully  alive and awake is the purpose of your life. That includes the pain and struggle that is a critical and necessary component to human existence.”
BOOM!

Too often people think that if something is hard, it is not worth doing (e.g., running). Where and why did we develop this belief? How can you live fully and be awake if you are not willing to be uncomfortable?

Dr. Stan Beecham, author of Elite Minds, is a Sport Psychologist who has spent years studying why athletes, sports teams and business are successful. Not surprisingly, he discovered that the key to best performance is learning how to control the mind – “When you truly study top performers in any field, what sets them apart is not their physical skill; it is how they control their minds.”

When I began this book, highlighter in hand, I covered every single page in my fluorescent yellow markings. So much so that my kids thought I had entered another master's degree program (oh, Lord, no).

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Yes, those are Hot Tamales in my lap. I think they make me fully alive.
 
So, why do you need to read this book if you do not aspire to be an elite athlete?

This book is about understanding and tapping into your full potential. This book is about understanding the power of failure and what it can teach us. This book is about showing you how your fears keep you from reaching your goals. The 172 pages contain life lessons and nuggets of wisdom that could honestly change how you train, pursue professional goals, and overcome challenges.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
  • If you are setting a goal without  understanding the reason for it, then maybe you should reevaluate the goal in general. – Beecham believes that when we set goals, we “play it way too safe” and tend to choose those that we think we can accomplish. He encourages us to stretch ourselves and take risks. He believes that “failing” at reaching our goals is part of reaching the goal.
  • Goals that are not frightening are not worth having.” Amen.
  • I believe we are truly at our best when we accept what is and work with it versus trying to change or stop it.” If you've ever heard the expression – “Embrace the suck” (I think it is a military thing), then you know we are better off accepting our discomfort than dwelling on it. What we resist, persists.
  • “If you truly want to get better, then you have to want your workouts to be hard, to be painful.”
  • “Fear is what keeps you from being fully motivated, passionate, driven, and setting big hairy-assed goals.” YES! And, any author who uses the term “hairy-assed” is my hero.
  • “The more ego you have, the more fear you have. Ego makes you self-aware, self conscious and makes you focus on yourself. Ego makes you wonder and care about what others think about you. The less afraid you become, the less you think about yourself and that allows you to instead think about what you want.” In short, I think this means – stop comparing, run your own damn race.
  • “You need to get over yourself. The less time you spend thinking about yourself and the more on what it is you want to do, the better of you will be.”
I could go on and on, but I think you get a taste of Beecham’s medicine. But, don’t take my word for it. Read the book yourself and see what speaks to you.

Want a copy? I have two hairy-ass books to give away. Or, if you hate giveaways, go buy it yourself HERE ($19.95 paperback, $8.95 Kindle).

Open to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

SUAR

BookLogix sent me this book to review and provided the giveaway items. As always, all opinions are my own.

207 comments:

  1. Sounds like it is right up my alley! Can't wait to read this and torture my children with quotes....

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  2. I'm currently reading Running Within, and Elite Minds sounds like it would go hand in hand with it! I definitely need to step up my mental game while running :)

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  3. Sounds like a fascinating book!

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  4. Seems like an awesome book - I love the quotes you pulled out!

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  5. I love that quote "goals that aren't freightening aren't worth having".

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  6. Running is such a mental sport and training is not just for the body. The book sounds intriguing. Trying to get back in shape this would be a good read to remind myself to train my brain too.

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  7. This sounds like a great kick in the pants, except in book form! I've just added it to my books to read, very near to the top.

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  8. This book looks awesome. I love learning new things.
    Kelly
    sitesx6@aol.com

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  9. I would like to read this for some motivation in my professional and personal life with goal setting.

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  10. This book sounds just like me and my husband. (mostly my husband) :) Now I've got to go see if they have it at the library!!

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  11. This book sounds like exactly what I need in my life right now. Definitely want to read it ASAP

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  12. I would love to read this book because I just set a huge goal for myself of running a BQ. To some that might not seem like much but for someone who has to cut an HOUR off their PR it is a big goal. I just started a 10k plan to work on speed for the next 10-12 weeks and I think this book would be great to read! Training and working towards big goals take a whole different mindset - one I am ready to tackle! I think this book would be perfect to help get me in that mindset.

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  13. Set a marathon goal for the fall... strangely, I'm not sure why. Yet, I know exactly why too... the idea scares the crap out of me! :-) Probably should read this one.

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  14. Been reading a lot of zen running books...which are great...but sometimes I feel like something is missing in those messages for me at present. I'm undergoing a period of intense change and there is fear. Seeing you quote the author as saying "goals that are not frightening are not worth having".... Just sounds liker such a relief to me right now. It validates all of my current choices (including learning that sometimes i'm gonna crap my pants and That's Okay lol ) and I'd love to read on. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I've been struggling lately on organizing my thoughts on goals, etc. I'm interested in reading this book to gain some perspective and get me on the right mindset for getting motivated!

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  16. Wow, I have never wanted to read a book so badly in my life It is so refreshing to hear someone say that life is not about being happy. Funny that when I stop trying to only do things that make me happy, I have somehow always ended up happier. Life is supposed to be hard - that's the glorious thing about it.

    I entered the giveaway, but to be honest I am not sure if I can wait that long to start reading it. Haha

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  17. Oh, I need to read this. Perfect timing!

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  18. This looks like a great book that I would love to read!

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  19. This sounds like a book that can be applied to all areas of life!

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  20. I would love to read this book. It may help with some of my motivation issues I have been having lately.

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  21. As someone who is dealing with a new manager at work and we are butting heads and someone who is currently dealing with a running injury this sounds like its meant for me. Either way I will take advantage of your recommendation. Thanks!!

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  22. This book is EXACTLY what I need right now. I love that "he believes that “failing” at reaching our goals is part of reaching the goal." If that is the case then I reached my goal in Boston, ha ha. I'm really excited to get my hands on this!

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  23. This book is exactly what I need to read!

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  24. Fantastic!!! I'm excited to take a read!!!

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  25. My husband would love this book! I would have to steal it from him.

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  26. Aside from my running goals, I have a few professional goals on the horizon. This book sounds like it could really help me overcome some hesitation I have in pursuing them.

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  27. I try to live with this idea. I'm sure I'd really enjoy reading this book.

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  28. Definitely sounds like a good read!

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  30. After running for a few years, I feel a bit like I've plateued as far as pace - occasionally I put in the effort to improve (actually, I'm enough of a newbie that just drastically increasing volume, like during marathon training, is sufficient to give me quite a boost without specific speed work), but maintaining it and continuing to improve is something I have a hard time putting the effort to, despite thinking it's what I want to do. This sounds like a great book to help get over that hurdle of wanting it but not willing to commit to it.

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  31. Sounds like a book that I could really get into!

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  32. OMG I'd love to read that. I know I have to "want my workouts to hurt" to get faster.......and I need to get faster! I tweeted too!

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  33. I really want some Hot tamales now. But they don't exists here =(. The book sounds good too.

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  34. I would read it and then hand it off to my graduating senior in high school. Good college motivation!

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  35. This looks like an awesome read - for personal and professional goals. Thanks for the review!

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  36. I need to learn to quiet the negative talk in my mind when the running gets hard - it starts to be all I can focus on and then, of course, it gets harder! I would love to learn to not be afraid of the pain and stay in the moment. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  37. I love the quotes you..... ummm.... quoted. Would love to read more!

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  38. I would love to read this book! I'm about to make some big leaps in my life and I am interested in quieting down the voice that says that I am being crazy.

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  39. I would love to read this book. I am starting to train to BQ but there is a lot of improvement needed. I like what it says about Goals that are not frightening are not worth having. Thanks for the review and chance to win!

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  40. I can always use a kick in the butt, but really who doesn't need one once in a while!

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  41. I'd love to find more information to strengthen my mental muscle. That's what let me down in my two marathons.

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  42. I can accomplish great things - like opening a free health clinic while working as part of a hospital system administrative team and completing a post master's certificate in family practice, but, I can't find the mental muscle to become the runner I want to be.

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  43. Sounds like an interesting book!

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  44. I never thought I had a big ego, but I am such a calculated risk-taker I must have a huge one! As i get older, I do find I am more willing to try new things and embrace my fear of failure but it still pisses me off. LOL!

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  45. during noon run, I passed a walker in a tank top who was wearing a shag carpet on his back; as I drew closer and realized it was natural fur, I guess that he's also in your 'hairy assed' category...

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  46. I agree 100% with this quote: “You need to get over yourself. The less time you spend thinking about yourself and the more on what it is you want to do, the better of you will be.”

    Can't wait to read the book!

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  47. Yes please! Working with my fear of failure instead of working AGAINST it!

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  48. I've been reading books about getting healthy and kicking bad habits! This sounds like a good one!

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  49. this book sounds like just what i need in my life right now.

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  50. This! “I believe we are truly at our best when we accept what is and work with it versus trying to change or stop it.”

    And I have to agree, any author who uses the term “hairy-assed” deserves to be read :)

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  51. I bought it on Kindle. Thanks for the recommendation, sounds great. I live in Canada. I love your blog and all the comments...I check it daily.

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  52. I'm sorely lacking on motivation these days... maybe a good read could help?

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  53. I'll be reading this if I win or not!

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  54. I'm always a bit skeptical when I hear the "it's all mental not physical" line. I won't ever be Scott Jurek, Michael Jordan or Beethoven. That said, I love the motivation that these books tend to deliver. Thanks for the review Beth:)

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  55. Sounds like a great read! I'd love to win a copy.

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  56. I'm always a bit skeptical when I hear the "it's all mental not physical" line. I won't ever be Scott Jurek, Michael Jordan or Beethoven. That said, I love the motivation that these books tend to deliver. Thanks for the review Beth:)

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  57. I love the disclaimer!!! I would love to read this book.

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  58. Sounds like a great book! I need a kick in the pants to help me accomplish some current goals :) Thanks!

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  59. I'm gunning for some big PRs and as a new runner, it's easy to let my doubts get in the way. I'm also seriously thinking about a huge career change, and it sounds this book could not come at a better time. I'd love to win it! And, thanks for the giveaway!

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  60. I heard Dr. Beecham on a podcast and got the kindle excerpt of his book. I started collecting mind training books in the last month or so before Shamrock marathon, but haven't purchased his yet - I need t o get it!

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  61. Putting this on my birthday (or maybe Mother's Day) list!!!

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  62. As I'm starting to train for my first half, I need to read this. I'm mentally weak.

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  63. I love books that have good quotes. I am put off my articles and books that make promises of easy weight loss, quicker 5K's etc. just to sell a magazine or book. My brain could use the training as well.

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  64. I would love to read this!

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  65. Definitely need this book! I give up too easily...especially on runs.

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  66. I do believe the mind can make or break our goals, regardless of physical capabilities. Sounds like an awesome read!!!!

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  67. I just looked at this book! I am working so hard at getting out of my own head...

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  68. I want it because I need a swift kick in the head (so to speak).

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  69. Omg.....this book! This book I Need!!

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  70. I would love to read a book that encourages us to "just do it". I really need to take an honest look at my fears and excuses!

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  71. this book sounds like a GREAT read on so many levels...would love a paperback copy to go with my nook copy (hopefully they have nook version!)

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  72. Because I don't want to suck.

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  73. I like the medicine the good doctor is peddling. I suffer from some health issues which have resulted in kidney failure. I wallowed in my own ego and fears for a long time. I've started running again a few months ago after decades away. I'm going to have a kidney transplant on the 30th and my goal is to be able to run a sub 30:00 5k before then. I'm a few minutes away from that mark, but the past few years I've really embraced a lot of the ideas you've quoted from the book. Many people in supprt groups I have noticed are very victim-centric. It took me a while to get over myself and "what I used to be able to do" (i.e. run 6min miles easily). My outlook has changed dramatically and I've really had no choice but to put the ego aside. It's simply a hindrance.

    Great post, BTW.

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  74. I have a goal to do an ironman when I turn 40 (about four years from now!) and I really want to but, the more I think about it, the more I feel fear creeping in. I need to embrace the suck and start doing some tris!

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  75. feel like i'm getting burnt out with running lately, need to read this book for some motivation!

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  76. My attitude towards things that scare me isn't to run in the opposite direction, but to face them head-on. Sounds like this book describes my life philosophy.

    BTW, I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Check it out here http://runfasteatlots.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-liebster-award-blogger-q.html

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  77. This seems so fascinating! I would love to read it and balance out my running studies with the Hanson Half Marathon Method!

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  78. I have a lot - A LOT - of trouble embracing the suck. Maybe this book will help!

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  79. I am interested in how this concept could apply to my (male-dominated) career, and also how to apply the lessons to my second marathon attempt.

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  80. I'm in the thick of my training for my first Ironman and am starting to run into some serious motivation issues - this book sounds super interesting to help me work through that!

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  81. I would love to read this book. Need that extra push!

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  82. ETS is one of my sister and I's fav sayings for ultras or anything that's hard but worth it. i'm in that weird scheduling time of small children and a husband that travels a ton for work, yet want to hang on to mountain/ultra running and my other goals, too. This book would be encouraging and motivating to stay the course! check out Lisa Stranc Bliss's TED talk on "what would you do if you knew you would likely fail"... or something like that... she's a tiny person and a friend of mine, but she has accomplished crazy, crazy feats while truly bettering the world--i don't say that lightly... another inspiring person! thanks!
    Kristin Z

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  83. I'm stuck in fear right now. Need this one!

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  84. I need to get over myself

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  85. You need to get over yourself. Best advice ever! Don't we all need to spot thinking about ourselves and focus...

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  86. Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the butt!! So from your review it looks like this book delivers!!!!

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  87. "Being happy is not the purpose of your life. Being fully alive and awake is the purpose of your life."

    I'm conflicted about these lines -- I think seeking happiness is a valid goal that most of us aspire to in some way or another. For some, being fully alive and awake makes them happy. For others, nurturing a close, loving relationship with their families does it. Still others find their pile of gold and sit on it. Nonetheless, I am intrigued and hope to hear more from Dr. Beecham.

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  88. This is exactly what I have been looking for! I know that athletes excel when they control their minds in addition to their bodies. But how do they do that? Sounds like this answers the question!

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  89. I want to read this book because, even though I believe in being disciplined and working hard, I could always use a kick in the ass and a reason to work a little harder.

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  90. Sounds like a great book. What are hot tamales? Are they like hot fries?

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    1. They are like Mike 'n Ikes only cinnamon flavored and spicy.

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    2. Oh I remember them now. Yum :)

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  91. It sounds like a great book. I'm hoping this poor grad student wins so I don't have to buy any more books ;), but if not it looks like its worth the buy. Thanks for sharing!

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  92. getting out of my own mind is my biggest struggle with running. can't wait to read this!

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  93. This book sounds what I need right now in my life. I'm 48 and have been having issues with motivation and training. I just need to suck it up and do the best that I can do right now and stop looking back/comparing past training and racing.
    debbiebikes

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  94. Just this morning I thought, "Ugh, why do I even bother." This book sounds like it would be good for me right now and I'd love to check it out.

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  95. I'm always scared of getting hurt but now I'm training for my first full. I need to get rid of the fear. And I love running books!

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  96. This book sounds great!

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  97. I'm currently reading The Up Side of Down by Megan McArdle about failure and success. This seems like it would be a great compliment to that book. Hope to read it soon!

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  98. Sounds like a great book!!

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  99. I am running out today and getting a copy. Wow!

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  100. I wrote a post recently about why I sign up for races in spite of the fact that they intimidate me so much. This book clearly articulates what I was trying to wrap my head around!

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  101. i'd love to read this book because lately i have been feeling unmotivated to run, or to really train for anything. i moved about 6 months ago and just don't enjoy running in my new city (nashville) yet.

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  102. I want to read this book because I need a kick in my hairy ass.

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  103. I could really use this tough love approach. It's time to start telling myself the hard truths about running, or I'll never get better.

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  104. I'll bite, this sounds like it could be useful in work and life, not just for running/triathlon training!

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  105. You had me at the disclaimer......

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  106. I want it! I'm a librarian runner... books=duh ;)

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  107. I'll admit that I am lazy and that I always need a kick in the butt to get me to be more then just average.

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  108. I want to know what's different between my mind and an elite's mind.

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  109. This book sounds great. I love that it doesn't sugar coat it, but gets down to business telling you what successful people do differently.

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    1. Ooops!

      Who loves hairy-ass books? THIS GIRL! I'm so cerebral, I know this would be a fantastic complement to my wogging (jogging/walking) efforts! Thanks for the review and opportunity!

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  111. Why do I want to read this book? Because I have some hairy-assed goals I'd like to reach. Need to reach. Will reach. And this looks like it will help with that.

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  112. i need any help i can to get out of my own head!
    ReneeW

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  113. Sounds like a good read - I need motivation in other areas of my life apart from running (although this week my running motivation is nil - I have the head cold from hell).

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  114. sounds awesome! I could use some help in the brain area... Tammy B

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  115. Perfect time for a summer read! I need the extra wisdom ;)

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  116. Embrace the suck sounds like my kind of advice. I could use this book.

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  117. “I believe we are truly at our best when we accept what is and work with it versus trying to change or stop it.” - - - and at peace.

    I came to this realization a few years ago, and I probably dropped 20 tons of stress when I did.

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  118. I love psychology, self-improvement (but REAL stuff, not fluffy stuff), and reading, so it sounds perfect!!

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  119. That first quoted paragraph gave me chills as that is my life philosophy in a nutshell. Love it!

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  120. LOVE the concepts you pull from the book! Im a psychologist, so Im really into this stuff anyway. And Im a triathlete, and it happens that running is the hardest mentally for me, which is why i love your blog. I am trying to gain a new mental relationship with running than the one i have, which is how much i hate running :-)
    I would love to read that book from perspective of the psychologist as well as the triathlete, and Im sure it will help in fostering my soon-to-be love-love (instead of Love-hate) relationship with the run!

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  121. I also love the idea of acceptance and working with what we have. And getting over ourselves is a huge thing! This is something I have to remind myself (no one else gives a rats ass, so why do I? Get over it!). To that end, I would love to give out copies of this book anonymously with those sections highlighted...

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  122. I'm a fan of any book that will tell it like it is! Sometimes I think we all need that extra push to realize we can do it.

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  123. I will be done with the master's degree I'm working on next week, so I need some new light reading material.

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  124. I think this book would do my mind some good!

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  125. Definitely a book I need to read.

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  126. I've been reevaluating my goals - and working on why I've put up barriers for myself that really don't exist. I also just finished my graduate work for the semester and have some time to read!

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  127. I honestly had to sit and chew on the few quotes you chose to share. If the book is like this, I'm in for a life-changing experience! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this with the world.

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  128. Sounds like a good book. I am currently in a Leadership Development Program and I think this would be right up my alley.

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  129. I want this book. I do CrossFit and run and every quote you wrote in your post is something I need to say to myself before every workout and before every run. I need to get out of my own head.

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  130. I would love to read this! My husband just finished Sports Gene and I think it would be an interesting follow-up.

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  131. I loved the quotes you posted and I am dying to learn more.

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  132. Running is truly a mind game for me. I won't to read more about what the author has to say.

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  133. I think this would be an awesome book to read! As someone who has only been running for two months I've been looking for some great books to help get me in the right mindset to take it on.

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  134. I can't wait to read this book and possible share with my office of athletic minded indivuals!

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  135. I connect to the quote 'failing to reach the goal is part of the goal'. Makes me think of my current training, AND my daughter's struggles in her sport (gymnastics).

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  136. This book sounds like it speaks the truth - no sugar coating anything. I think your blog name would have been an excellent title for this book!

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  137. Doing half marathon in WI tomorrow. I'm 60 and one example of the quotes in the book I will pre-game with when I mentally get ready. Good timing on this topic. Can't wait to read the whole book.

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  138. I know I'll enjoy reading this book! Agree with all of the statements you quoted!

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  139. Sounds like the kick in the ass I need!

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  140. This book would be a perfect read for me this summer since I'm starting my first year of law school in the fall.

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  141. I need this book for almost every part of my life right now. If I don't win I'm still going to read it. Thanks for recommendation!

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  142. I would be very interested to read this as I've spent a year thinking about ego, fears etc. I got my ass off my couch last year and trained and ran a half. for some reason the thought of running another one scares me.....do I have to run faster? What if I run slower? What will people say? blech.

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  143. I have been a marathon runner for a couple years and am now training for a triathlon. The swimming and biking was very intimidating at first, but after starting, I realized I should have never waited so long to get into it!! The quotes you posted from this book really hit home and I would love to get more in depth! Thanks for the review!

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  144. I think the concepts and truths in the book can be applied to all areas of life and not just running and fitness. I have 7 children with several of them living in constant fear due to the past abuse and neglect they lived through. I wonder if this would translate to helping me understand my children better, as well as, myself.

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  145. Would love to read this for the mental part of marathon training.

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  146. I need to read this before my first half marathon.

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  147. Sounds like something everyone could get something out of, but I would love to read it before I begin training for my first half.

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  148. Looks interesting! Need it as an audio book on super long runs! :)

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  149. This book is on my read list for sure! I want to be able to perform to the fullest of MY potential and feel like most of what's in the way right now is mental.

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  150. This book sounds like a good read. I like the quote about setting goals that are frightening. Also, I love the phrase "embrace the suck".

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  151. As I train for my first marathon, I think this book would really help me strengthen my mind and get tough!

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  152. I would use this to break through my barriers!

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  153. I need a quick kick in pants to move forward on goals sometimes.....I'm getting better, but this sounds like an interesting read.

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  155. Because I so need to get out of my head and out of my own way!

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  156. I need something else besides studying for my looming certification exam.

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  157. I would love to read this book to help motivate me in my professional and running goals.

    Entered the rafflecopter form as "Wild Orchid"

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  158. I'm currently injured. I can't run, so it only makes sense that I should read as much as I can so that I can hit the ground running when I get the go-ahead. Or, I should torture myself reading about goal-setting when I can't reach any of my running goals right now.

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  159. I need a swift kick in the butt right about now. This book might help. :)

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  160. I would love to read this book. Need to set a great goal and go for it!!

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  161. I want to read this.book.because it sounds awesome and like it applies to more than just athletes. I've been someone that hasn't just been afraid of running and goals, but afraid of living in general. Obviously I could.just buy the book, but winning it.would be sweeter. BTW you are my hero.

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  162. What you said about too many people shying away from things because they are hard really resonated with me. I tend to set really achievable goals, which defeats the purpose I guess. I'm definitely curious to read the book and set some tougher goals for myself!

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  163. Win, buy, or borrow - I want read this book.

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  164. I would love to read this book!

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  165. “Goals that are not frightening are not worth having.” Great quote, the purpose of the goal is what it makes of us. It is not that we achieve t, butthat we go onto another level and become better. In order to be the best, you need to dream big.

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  166. Ooh, pick me! I need to get my mind right as I approach my first full marathon May 1st!

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  167. This book sounds like just what I need about now.

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  168. This is going to help me help myself and others so much! Can't wait to read it.

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  169. this would be an awesome gift for my sister, who is graduating college this weekend and moving to MO for grad school. looks like a great read!

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  170. This sounds like my kind of book. I'd love to win.

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  171. An interesting contrast to the books that simply want someone to be happy! Looks interesting!

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  172. This is just what I may need.

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  173. This sounds like the exact kind of 'kick in the ass' book I could use right now.

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  174. I'm always after a good new book!

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  175. Sounds like a thought-provoking book!

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  176. Just the type of reading material I need before my upcoming 12-hour race!

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  177. I am training for my first Ironman so I think this would be a great book. I think amateur athletes often downplay the effect that the mental side of training ha son their overall training and races!

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  178. it's been awhile since I visited your site. I miss it...you always make me laugh. That book sounds great. It reminds of a quote I Read last night in a running book by Kara Goucher. she said...

    “One of the most important early lessons each runner learns is that when you think you’re running as hard as you can, you’re not”

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  179. This book sounds awesome! I coach a group of beginner runner every fall at my church, and I know this book would help the group.

    If it doesn't challenge you, it can't change you!

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  180. I always set goals that are "safe". I need to lose the fear! Would love to read this book.

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  181. I'd like to read this. Te note you highlighted about ego is fascinating. I never thought about it that way. Once i can run again, this book seems like a good thing to keep me going.

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  182. Sounds like a butt-kicking read! Thanks for the giveaway!

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